Game of Thrones and rape culture

Rape culture says rape is okay because she actually wants it.

Excuse me while I PUKE. Thanks. I still feel queasy, but I think I can talk now.

I just read a blog post at Patheos about Game of Thrones and rape culture, and that’s what this is about: how I felt after reading that post. It’s about rape culture, rape myths, and how media is still perpetuating those myths. I’m not writing a review of the show. I haven’t read the books it comes from and I don’t watch the show—I don’t even own a TV, though I do watch a few things online—but I can totally relate to the reaction that blogger and a lot of other people have had to the episode where Jaime rapes Cersei. First of all,

game of thrones and rape culture

should be enough to make everyone sick. But, somehow, that part seems to have been glossed over. They are siblings (twins). Am I the only one who’s totally appalled at that? Maybe viewers are used to it by now. Some are saying what happens in that scene is “not really rape.” And, get this, it’s “complicated consensual sex.” I won’t even link to the guy who said that one.


It’s a rape myth.

There are several rape myths. The one that this episode is showing: No Really Means Yes. Rape victims really want it, even when they say no, the myth says. You just have to convince them that they want it, and by “convince,” they mean coerce, guilt-trip, wear down their resistance, and/or force them. Then the resistant ones see the light, admit that they really do want sex with you, and they agree, or even beg for it.

Game of Thrones and rape culture—is this what passes for “entertainment” now? A rape myth being perpetuated by the media should not be surprising, though it still makes me want to vomit every time I see or hear about it happening.

Complicated consensual sex

Just what is that, anyway? It means that one person starts off saying “no” but is “convinced” to say “yes.” They don’t want anything to do with it at first, but part way through, and definitely by the time it’s over, they enjoy it, they want it. When a woman says “no,” it really means “maybe” or “yes.” It means, “Convince me, you big stud.” Our culture has taught this for a long time, maybe forever.


“Complicated consensual sex” is coerced sex, which is…rape.

Game of Thrones and rape culture

From what I understand, in the book it is consensual sex in that scene. As Slate says,

“Turning it into a rape [in the TV show] just turns Jaime into a monster, the kind that would rape a woman he claims to love in front of her dead son to punish her for being ‘hateful.'”

Ah, yes, forced sex (RAPE!) as punishment. Too many victims can relate to that one, too.

Getting triggered

I wonder just how many people put in an emergency call to their therapist, spiritual leader, or close friend after seeing rape scenes. It’s triggering. You might say, “Well, they could just change the channel.”

To that, I say this: it only takes a fraction of a second to trigger someone. Just one glimpse of an assault, one sound of the struggle. No one can grab the remote quickly enough  or plug their ears quickly enough to keep from hearing it. That’s why there is an entire website dedicated to listing movies and shows that might trigger sexual abuse survivors, so we can be prepared and/or avoid that movie/episode altogether. Game of Thrones and rape culture…I’d say this scene is reason enough for some to stay away from the books and TV series.

In order to stay away from any “blurred lines” of what is or is not coercion (which is rape) let’s say that anything other than an enthusiastic “Yes, I want you, too” is not consensual sex.

PS. Some of the responses on the facebook walls of the people who have shared this post so far are sickening, though I must say that many people’s comments show that they “get it.” Lord have mercy on us all until everyone does. +